How To Write Books And Make Money
The Truth About Writing A Book
I had no idea when I decided to write a business book. Many people told me that I shouldn't expect my books to make money but that it was a marketing tool.
But I decided that I wanted my books actually to make money. I mean, with all this effort in writing a book, why would you not try to make it profitable?
Although, there's definitely an important distinction between thinking of your book as a product and thinking of it as a book.
You have a different mindset when you think about your book as your product instead of a book. It becomes easier for you to market it and sell it to people who will benefit from reading it and listening to what you have to say in your book. You literally take out your personal feelings to know it is a commodity.
Why Publishing Is Easier Than Ever
But the truth is that publishing a book is easier than ever—not to mention cheaper and more convenient.
With KDP Amazon and other self-publishing platforms, anyone can publish their books and make them available for customers to buy within days.
The publishing game has changed. With Amazon, you can publish your book for free—all you have to do is take the time to format it correctly and upload it.
This means that you don't have to go through the process of sending your book to publishers, waiting for all of the rejection letters because you're not famous enough to sell millions of copies, or spending thousands of dollars on a publishing house that's only interested in working with established bestsellers.
You also don't have much control over the final product if you send it to publishers. You must put your trust in the publisher and hope for the best.
But self-publishing is different: you're in charge. You don't have to get anyone else's permission or approval (except for maybe a proofreader and editor). You can create your book exactly how you want it, which is awesome!
I have an example of a friend who published his book with a publishing service. He gets $1 per book; I get between $3 to $9+ per book, depending on what type of book. There is a caveat: he does not have to do anything! I treat mine as a business, so branding involves, social media, emails, websites, etc., and all the marketing necessary for a business.
5 Ideas To Make Money As An Author
1. First, you must sell your books in different marketplaces, not just on Amazon. You can sell books on a website or, even better, an online store, eBay, Ingram Spark, Barnes & Noble, etc., to name a few.
2. Create videos or micro-lessons of your book. For instance, explain the moral of your story, talk about your book, teach an action in your book, show how to write a book, etc. This is great for fiction and. nonfiction books.
3. Sell accessories like journals, t-shirts, stickers, and book cards - the same idea, for instance, as the Harry Potter series, which has created a whole slew of products.
5. What about a gift box of items you mention in the book? Create an amazing giveaway by creating a 6 to 8-week or even 6-month promotion.
5. Gift cards are a great idea for special holidays like Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Christmas, etc., which you can have available if you have an online store.
Why Sell On Shopify
Amazon pays your royalties only in 90 days. If you had your website as a store, you could sell books and accessories and get paid in 3 days!
The POD fulfillment is between 5 - 10 days, whether you sell on Amazon or other marketplaces.
Here are some ideas to create fans of your readers:
1. You can surprise your readers with a small can gift item before they get the book.
2. Send them a discount email or card for the next order.
3. Give away a free chapter of your next book
4. Invite them to a free webinar or Q&A workshop.
5. Maybe give them a workbook if it is nonfiction.
6. Add them to a prize giveaway that you are running (great idea).
This is a way to create raving fans who will buy your next book.
Branding Will Help You Stand Out From The Competition
The first impression matters - As Jeff Bezos says, "Branding is what people say about you when you're not in the room."
As I have mentioned, you need to think of your writing as a business. This means you need to brand your business and not just the books.
Wikipedia says: “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
Part of a brand is a trademark that will identify your business to your customers if you think of Mcdonald's and how it has been recognized worldwide.
You can trademark your name or products if you have a business. You cannot trademark a title of a book. Unfortunately, I cannot trademark my name because I will compete with Veronica Beard's Jeans, for instance. My books are about Shopify, and you can bet Shopify has trademarked them. If you do business internationally, you will have to trademark for every country that you do business in. However, an international entity can take care of 80 countries.
The international application simplifies the process of applying for foreign trademarks, but it does not guarantee that a particular country will agree to register your trademark. Each country has its own laws and standards regarding what types of trademarks can be registered. There is no such thing as an “international trademark” that is good everywhere.
Branding also consists of branding tools and strategies to help you distinguish your business from your competition.
The tools for branding are your logo, colors, images, website, content, and social media presence and profiles.
Your brand strategy will help define how your customers see your business and product. And it is also figuring out your positioning or “winning difference”. Most importantly, it helps you stand out from the competition and avoid competing on price.
Building a brand strategy for your eCommerce store is also powerful marketing, customer retention, and loyalty technique and is necessary for any new or established eCommerce business.
When you're thinking about publishing a book, you need to be planning ahead so that you don't end up scrambling to put together a website, figure out how to sell the book on Amazon and other places, and think about how you're going to brand yourself as an author all at the same time!
That is why I built my business on Shopify. It started as something I needed to learn because I am an Ecommerce coach. But I discovered how easy it was to have all my ducks in one pond. I did not have to create a separate website, a blog, or a shopping cart. In Shopify. it is all in one place. Even my marketing tools and financial records are part of the Shopify. system. I now have my courses on Shopify as well and don't need course platforms like Kajabi or Thinktific for instance, which is all an added expense for my business.
Different Ways To Sell Books in Shopify.
I have different ways I sell my book in my Shopify store. Before I made my decision, I tested the various outlets or POD to see the quality of the printed books. Then I did a profit analysis to see the best option for my profit margin and how long the fulfillment took with each printing option.
I did discover that fulfillment times with all the PODs were the same; some varied at different times, but there was no clear winner.
I tested both Lulu Direct, which is an App in Shopify, and Amazon KDP. With LuluDirect, you can attach a payment option and your books are automatically printed and shipped. But they are double the price of Amazon KDP. This would be a great option if you had a lot of orders.
Or, I order an author copy from Amazon KDP, add the customer address, add a gift message, and ship it out via local Amazon internationally. It takes a bit more effort, but you make more money.
I also have access to other POD (print-on-demand) services like clothes, home accessories, or simple print options like journals, cards, mugs, etc.
So whatever your decision, look at the numbers and what suits you.
It has been an amazing journey to build my business brand and my authority online.
If you have questions, let's chat: https://veronicajeans.online/calendar
Tim Sohn is the founder & CEO of Sohn Social Media Solutions, where he produces live-streamed shows and virtual events, handling behind-the-scenes so you can show up and have amazing conversations. Email Tim at email@example.com.